Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch

These awards are recognitions given to attorneys who are earlier in their careers for outstanding professional excellence in private practice in America. Our "Ones to Watch" recipients typically have been in practice for 5-9 years.

Featured Ones to Watch

Eligibility & Coverage

  • Lawyers who have been in private practice for 5-9 years are eligible to be nominated.
  • Candidates can only be considered for one recognition at a time (i.e. either Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch or our traditional Best Lawyers awards).
  • We do not currently accept nominations for or recognize talent among in-house lawyers.
  • Candidates must be nominated in one of our awarded areas of expertise.
  • Visit our research timeline to learn more about the submission and announcement schedule.


Recognition in a Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch list is based entirely on peer review and employs the same methodology that has made Best Lawyers the gold standard for legal rankings worldwide. Read about the Best Lawyers methodology in more detail.
Like our traditional Best Lawyers awards, the first step in our methodological process is for a lawyer to be nominated.
Ones to Watch diagram

Nomination Submission

Lawyers can be nominated by anyone but themselves.


Peer Review

All candidates for “Ones to Watch” are invited to vote on their peers.


Analysis of Feedback

Results are calculated and feedback is reviewed.


Eligibility Check

Candidates are confirmed to be in good standing with their local bar associations.


Results Released

Firms and individuals are informed of the results and the awards are published.

From "Ones to Watch" to Best Lawyers Recipient
Nominee or Candidate
Ones to Watch Headshot
  • For lawyers earlier in their careers
  • Typically have been in practice 5-9 years
  • Often hold the title of Associate or Senior Associate
  • All "Ones to Watch" candidates are invited to vote
  • Are also voted on by "Best Lawyers" awardees within their firm
Best Lawyers Headshot
  • For established lawyers exhibiting top legal talent
  • Traditionally have at least 10 years' experience in private practice
  • Most often have been promoted to Partner
  • Are voted on exclusively by "Best Lawyers" awardees
  • Are only invited to vote once they are recognized in "Best Lawyers"

Ways to Promote

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch honorees can share this recognition with their friends, colleagues, clients and professional network. We also provide marketing options to feature your individual and firm awards. These include lawyer and firm profiles that appear in the Best Lawyers search engine and customized logos that can be used in your marketing and client outreach.





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If you wish to learn more or if you need assistance promoting your awards, please reach out to and read our publicizing guidelines.
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